Friday, June 10, 2016

The Long Game ~ Jennifer Lynn Barnes (earc) review [@jenlynnbarnes @BloomsburyKids]

The Long Game (The Fixer #2)
Bloomsbury USA Children's
June 07, 2016
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Tess Kendrick, teen fixer extraordinaire, returns in a pulse-pounding thriller about a deadly conspiracy at the heart of Washington.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate's campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess's guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can--and cannot--be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover first-hand that power always comes with a price.

Perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Ally Carter, the second book in this thrilling series will leave readers breathless.
"'Their point is that you are a meddler. . . An incurable, insatiable meddler. You simply cannot help yourself, Kendrick.'

'I don't meddle,' I said.

Unfortunately, all that did was set Vivvie and Asher up to chorus, 'You fix!'"

If Veronica Mars had lived in Washington D.C. and was living with someone closer to Kerry Washington's Scandal fixer character than the town sheriff turned PI, she would be Tess Kendrick.

From helping out her classmates, preventing bullying, dealing with hazing, even problems with their parents, Tess finds ways to help out, to fix things. But she doesn't stop with those smaller, safer problems. When there are things larger than reputations and college admittance at stake, when there is very real potential for danger, Tess still can't stay out of it.

The Long Game really builds on all that was introduced in The Fixer in a great way. We now know more about Tess and Ivy's past, how and why their relationship was so complicated, even what that relationship really is. We've also been introduced to the Hardwicke School, to Henry, Vivvie, Asher, Emilia and the other students, to the headmaster.

Some of what Tess 'fixed' in the first book played into what happened in this book and how different characters felt about her. This was definitely it's own, new story, full of scandal, intrigue, suspicion, revelations, danger, humor and heart but it built on what we already know and what's already happened. I do love series books that have a story contained to each novel but have elements, story lines, relationships whose arcs span multiple books - this series looks to be doing that really well.

The more we know about all of the characters (from Tess' friends to the political players and beyond) the deeper and more intense our mysteries, conspiracies, secrets and questions can get. I love it!

I still love Tess's character, her smarts, her humor, her desire for to find the truth and help people. I love the other characters and how they interact, what they have in common and how very different they can be. They may not have known each other all that long, but you can see how they care about each other and I am looking forward to seeing that develop even more.

I also like that this isn't a series that's heavy on the romance. There are male and female characters, they interact, they care about each other, but it's not all about flirting or thinking about if they like each other or not. The absence of romance seems to make the relationships stronger and really let us see who the characters are and focus on the action.

I always love Jennifer Lynn Barnes' characters and these are becoming some of my favorites. I like that we're discovering more about them - the good and the bad - as Tess also gets to know them and really look forward to what happens to and with them in the next book!

received for review, from publisher, via NetGalley

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